Ice Age: Continental Drift

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Ice Age: Continental Drift Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Prehistoric pals hit the seas for an exciting adventure.
  • PG
  • 2012
  • 87 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 24 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 45 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Kids might be inspired to learn about prehistoric animals, but Ice Age: Continental Drift is obviously intended for entertainment purposes and shouldn't be considered an accurate depiction of the way ancient mammals interacted.

Positive Messages

The central idea of every Ice Age film is that your herd (family) isn't necessarily the one you're born with but the tribe that protects you and loves you unconditionally. Even though Sid's sloth family abandons him, Manny and Diego never will. The subplot with Peaches reminds viewers that true friends accept you as you are, not under the condition that you dump another friend first.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main characters are all committed to teamwork and to their herd, even in the direst of circumstances. Sid and Diego never question Manny's determination to get back to Ellie and Peaches. Ellie is a patient and understanding mother. Peaches is a somewhat stereotypical teenager who's embarrassed by her over-protective parents, but she learns how lucky she is by the end of the movie. Ellie's best friend Louis might look like a weakling, but when things get scary, he summons his courage to save Peaches. Even usually senile Grandma knows a lot more than she lets on.

Violence & Scariness

Lots of cartoonish violence, as per usual with the Ice Age movies. Scrat unintentionally causes widespread destruction and personal harm in his attempt to secure his precious acorn. Young kids might be scared when Manny, Diego, and Sid are separated from the rest of the herd. The pirate Captain Gutt is menacing and tells a frightening story about how he got his nickname. He's bent on revenge and is willing to sacrifice any of his pirates to achieve it. None of the other characters is really hurt, however, so there isn't a body count or anything too gruesome. Also, the sirens in their original form are quite creepy looking.

Sexy Stuff

Peaches has a crush on Ethan, while her molehog best friend, Louis, is smitten with her. Peaches calls Ethan "hot." Diego and Shira flirt and eventually declare their interest in each other. Sid and Manny poke fun at Diego for not realizing he's falling in love. In one funny sequence, monstrous "sirens" appear as the opposite sex to lure Scrat, Manny, Sid, Sid's Granny, Diego, etc. to them. The male sloth (who looks like Fabio in sloth form) makes a suggestive statement to Sid's grandma about the "wrinklier the fruit, the juicier the fruit."


Mild insults include "idiot," "freaks," and "stupid." There's also some scatological humor about puking, farting, burping, etc.


No product placements in the movie, but the Ice Age franchise has many merchandise tie-ins off camera, including Happy Meal collectible toys, plush dolls, figurines, games, and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ice Age: Continental Drift is the fourth installment in Fox's popular prehistoric animal franchise. Even the youngest moviegoers will want to follow Manny, Sid, and Diego's latest adventures. Like Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, this one's in 3-D and features some cartoonish violence, mild romance, a smattering of insults, and some scatological humor. On the plus side, there are a lot of overtly positive messages about family and friendship.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBig chris December 13, 2012


i have a question was this movie meant to entertain kids because my siblings bored stiff and we had to leave the theater mid way feeling like i had waisted the... Continue reading
Adult Written byExblockbuster July 13, 2019

Poor content

Same ol slapstick and crude depiction of characters
Teen, 17 years old Written bySpider2003 February 20, 2021

Ice Age Continental Drift movie review by Logan Strohl

While not as good as the first 3 Ice Age movies Ice Age Continental Drift is still a really great sequel to the 3rd movie great humor cast and score great... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old January 2, 2021

Good film

The film involves a continental drift; also, continental drifts are hypotheses and the Ice Age characters are in it.

What's the story?

In ICE AGE: CONTINTENTAL DRIFT, Scrat's (voiced by Chris Wedge) neverending pursuit of the almighty acorn leads him to the Earth's core, where he inadvertently causes prehistoric Earth's single supercontinent to break up into smaller pieces. Before things literally fall apart, Manny (Ray Romano) and his wife, Ellie (Queen Latifah), must deal with (stereo)typical adolescent defiance from their teen daughter, Peaches (Keke Palmer), who wants to impress heartthrob mammoth Ethan (hip-hop star Drake), even if it means dumping her faithful best friend, a molehog named Louis (Broadway star Josh Gad). When the Earth begins to shake, Manny, Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary), Sid the goofy sloth (John Leguizamo), and his senile Granny (Wanda Sykes) are stuck on an iceberg that flows out to sea, where they encounter a band of pirates led by the menacing Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage), an ape with no interest in the trio's desire to reunite with the rest of their herd.

Is it any good?

This isn't the most inspired film in the series, but these characters are like comfort food -- pleasingly familiar. The original threesome is now middle-aged, and with their age come new problems, particularly for overprotective father Manny. The new setting (at sea) doesn't leave room for much breathtaking animation, but the action sequences are pretty spectacular in 3-D, even if the story is a little flimsy. At least Scrat gets more screen time than ever (and if there's an animated creature bound to tickle every single member of the audience's funny bone, it's the Sisyphean Scrat).

Ice Age: Continental Drift's new characters/storylines are both hit and miss -- things fall flat with the teens (Louis and Peaches are cute, but the young mammoth clique featuring the voices of Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Glee star Heather Morris is just an annoying attempt to capture the tween audience), but the addition of Granny is rather genius. The addled but hilarious sloth grandma is by far the breakout new character, and her silly comments and constant muttering will win kids over and make even jaded parents laugh aloud. Girls will also be taken with the low-key love story that develops between Diego and Shira (Jennifer Lopez), a pirate tigress who needs a lesson in the meaning of camaraderie. While it's not the best animated adventure you'll see, Ice Age 4 is sure to please the kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Ice Age: Continental Drift's defining message about the meaning of family. What defines a family? How is Sid's "biological" family a disappointment compared to his herd?

  • Is Peaches a believable teenager? Why are teens embarrassed by their parents? How do Peaches and Manny reconcile their difference of opinion?

  • Do the Ice Age movies feel complete now, or would you like to see another one? How does Continental Drift compare to the three others? Which one is your favorite?

  • How do the characters in Ice Age: Continental Drift demonstrate courage and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

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